The Perspective of Justice

Becoming Food  

The Eucharist is a sacrament of unity, primarily the unity of Christ with the Christian: “The [one] who feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him; by this sacrament you make us one with Christ.” This unity reflects the unity of the Son with the Father in the Trinity.

The reading from Ephesians encourages the Church to reflect in its life the unity of the Trinity: Christians are to walk in the Spirit and give thanks to the Father in the name of Jesus Christ.

The alternative opening prayer speaks of a larger unity, the unity of the whole human race: “May the walls, which prejudice raises between us, crumble.” Prejudice and discrimination destroy the unity that the Trinity and the Eucharist symbolize for us and challenge us to achieve.

The Christian commitment is clearly on the side of unity: that is the wisdom revealed in scripture. The divisive wisdom of the world is really foolishness, and the author of Ephesians warns us not to act like fools.

The current usage ... speaks of different worlds within our one world: the First World, the Second World, the Third World, and at times the Fourth World. Such expressions ... are significant: they are a sign of a widespread sense that the unity of the world, that is, the unity of the human race, is seriously compromised.

Pope John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 1987:14

All racist theories are contrary to Christian faith and love. And yet racism still exists and continually reappears in different forms. It is a wound in humanity's side that mysteriously remains open. Everyone, therefore, must make efforts to heal it with great firmness and patience.

Pontifical Justice and Peace Commission,
The Church and Racism, 1988:33

Gerald Darring

**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson